FM Design and Design Clinic have been given the go-ahead to start design work – which may include a new logo – for the Eurostar train. Initial work on redesigning the train interiors and items such as food packaging is now emerging.
This follows London & Continental Railways’ triumph, finally confirmed last week, over rival group Eurorail to run the 3bn Channel Tunnel high-speed rail link.
Both design consultancies are subsidiaries of the London-based FM Group, which has an ongoing working relationship with Virgin, a partner in the consortium’s bid. The designers’ client is London & Continental.
Eurostar is expected to be in profit by April 1998. This is the target time for all initial design work to be completed, though an on-going programme will continue.
FM Design will create train environments, such as seating, lighting, interiors and signage at stations. It will possibly be working on a Eurostar shop which will feature at stations.
Design Clinic is responsible for all printed information, from ticketing to packaging of food and promotional gifts.
“The service is now relatively basic and a bit austere. It needs re-branding,” says Steve Taylor, project manager for both consultancies.
“We need to make the train a unique experience – romantic, exciting and special. We’re looking at everything from on-board catering to tickets to make a brand that people will find irresistible,” adds Taylor.